On November 11, 1943 - seventy years ago today - in combat near Mignano, Italy, Lindstrom, a machine gunner, took his weapon on a lone charge up an exposed hill to get a better firing angle on the enemy. When he still couldn't place fire on a Nazi machine gun, he attacked with his pistol, killed the enemy gun crew, seized their weapon, and brought it to his comrades in arms to use against its previous owners. His incredible effort in combat above and beyond the normal call of duty was deemed worthy of the Medal of Honor.
From Medal of Honor Citations for World War II (G-L):
|Photo from Military Times Hall of Valor|
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, 3d Infantry Division
Place and date: Near Mignano, Italy, 11 November 1943
Entered service at: Colorado Springs, Colo.
G.O. No.: 32, 20 April 1944
Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. On 11 November 1943, this soldier's platoon was furnishing machine gun support for a rifle company attacking a hill near Mignano, Italy, when the enemy counterattacked, forcing the riflemen and half the machine gun platoon to retire to a defensive position. Pfc. Lindstrom saw that his small section was alone and outnumbered 5 to 1, yet he immediately deployed the few remaining men into position and opened fire with his single gun. The enemy centered fire on him with machine gun, machine pistols, and grenades. Unable to knock out the enemy nest from his original position, Pfc. Lindstrom picked up his own heavy machine gun and staggered 15 yards up the barren, rocky hillside to a new position, completely ignoring enemy small arms fire which was striking all around him. From this new site, only 10 yards from the enemy machine gun, he engaged it in an intense duel. Realizing that he could not hit the hostile gunners because they were behind a large rock, he charged uphill under a steady stream of fire, killed both gunners with his pistol and dragged their gun down to his own men, directing them to employ it against the enemy. Disregarding heavy rifle fire, he returned to the enemy machine gun nest for 2 boxes of ammunition, came back and resumed withering fire from his own gun. His spectacular performance completely broke up the German counterattack. Pfc. Lindstrom demonstrated aggressive spirit and complete fearlessness in the face of almost certain death.
While Lindstrom survived the action on November 11, 1943, he was killed in action not quite three months later on February 3, 1944. His Medal was thus awarded posthumously. Lindstrom rests in peace today in the Evergreen Cemetery in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry is still active today with the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the modern 3rd Infantry Division. Their home station is Fort Stewart, Georgia.